Love/Desire

this is an updating investigation

Careful or you’ll end up in my novel-

Looking down at my feet, which I hate, I think about how they look like my Bella’s, wide and each toe a little bit shorter than the last one. I’m pleased with them then, that I’ve been out with them doing great things and now I am home brushing my teeth and looking at my feet. It’s authentic.

Earlier I was walking down one of the side streets to my road and as I passed the primary school there I remembered an incident I had with Princess a few months ago. We were both drunk and I pleaded with her by the gates to tell me something so she said fine, I had a sex dream about you and your writing, at least it was you at first but then you turned into Henry.

Tonight I noticed that ever since this happened I remembered it whenever I saw the school, and especially her long, dark hair in the rain. I thought this was interesting and then that reminded me of when I’d get driven down Queen’s Road remembering things. In particular, Jenny and I running around the bus garage on New Year’s Eve trying to find the bus to Herne Hill. In the end, we got a taxi and she produced a lovely pre-mixed can of gin and tonic called an Alfie. Further up towards the post office I think of Danielle, who turned to me so tall and handsome but blushing and said do you want to do this again sometime? and triumph then and hair flung in the wind.

Then, years before when I was drunk and got the bus from New Cross to kiss Teddy so hard we made a mattress deflate while I thought, Bad Review, Bad Review by Half Man Half Biscuit.

Now, I’m in bed reading Armistead Maupin and thinking of Kiaran, when they were younger going into every secondhand bookshop in Brighton to find Tales of the City: dreamy.

 

What I want

Dear Max,

Just your brown eyes looking at me while you tell me about when you were a little boy with your mum on the bus, holding your piss in a McDonald’s cup. Or how you really fancied your ex-girlfriends even though they were not   that bright.

I want you to really fancy me, not for my personality, or at least not for a good part of it, not anything nice. I want you to fancy me because I’m loud and scary and, yeah, not  that bright.

I want to be the woman in the story you told me, who you fucked in a car, I don’t want us to worry that I’m not going to like it, I want to like it. I want to be like the women in all the stories who like it, who like what they can get. I want to like what I can get, which let’s face it, is more than most people.

I thought you’d want to fuck me after you told me your dad died I wanted to come and find you in the night and when I shut the door to your room you’d take me all in, my little waist under my winter clothes, and say that I was beautiful with your mouth and that I understood you with your eyes. Then you might finally kiss me properly before we’d have sex slowly as I thought, oh god, oh no, I really like him, with my hand holding yours above my head.

I should be over all this now, I should be over sex, or if I’m not then I should know what I want and what I want should not be boys, and especially not boys that play the guitar. I’ve had sex with boys that play the guitar before and they stick around for years fiddling with it until you scream.

Max, don’t worry, I really don’t want you to worry. Take comfort, because I’m pretending although I actually don’t know about which bit anymore.

 

 

 

~

Of course, it was when she went to him, telling him that there was someone else, another man, that she began to love him again. His jumper looked like one you’d wear at primary school and it was the way he pulled the sleeve of it over his hand to wipe his eyes. She realised they hadn’t been alone together for months and then his body seemed to ooze with untouched warmth. His eyes were brown, his hair was brown and he was lovely (later that evening her new boyfriend, now allowed, would seem too angular in comparison and his pale skin grotesque). He placed his hands on the table in between them and said that he’d make her a cup of tea, but that after that they couldn’t speak anymore. His hands were like his dick, admirable, and she wanted to shout out that she was joking, that she really loved him while letting herself back into his musty, grey-marl arms. A less careful person would have done that.

Afterwards, she recounted the story of the visit to a colleague, who didn’t know him, and in a slight click of empathic understanding the colleague said,

  • Don’t you wish you could have two boyfriends?

Two boyfriends?

You can’t

Although she’s never even asked.

 

~

 

One winter, a few years after this, he is part of a gang that comes to visit her in the new home she shares with her boyfriend. They live in a cabin up a snowy mountain.

Some things happen on this holiday like:

  • she is ashamed that she wants to sit next to him, talk to him and walk with him over wanting to do these things with her boyfriend.
  • she notices that he laughs at a lot of her jokes (does she laugh at his? -yes!)
  • she notices that he makes a little sympathetic noise whenever she does something cute. She makes eye contact with him, then notices that her boyfriend has made the same noise on the other side of the circle of people (men that love/d her think that she is cute).
  • Once she touches the top of his arm with her hand when they are going up the escalator in the underground station (yes, by the mountains, whatever). It seems a fairly non-sexual touch through his t-shirt, shirt, hoodie and thick denim jacket, but she feels daring and something twitches in her cunt. His eyes twinkle as the light changes from the false, blue underground one to the three pm winter city outside. Luxurious.

 

 

~

 

 

I remember how you didn’t think you were sexy how when we first had sex and I said, not quite naturally, you’re so hot you thought I meant temperature.

I remember you who told me that once as a little boy you took the stuffing out of

two different toys so that you could swap their insides but then realised you’d destroyed them both how you woke up one morning and your mother wasn’t there how you cried when I wrote a poem about you and said you’d never loved anyone more I remember all that and despair that my love is demanded to be so absolute so yes or no, one person or the other.

 this secret medal no use to anyone

 

 

~

 

 

 

Since the year began I

have carried you, darling,

through all my days with

your face that does

deserve to be somebody’s darling

So now your childhood

sadness, your matching hair and

eyes, your long hands and

soft chest stay while I walk

through rain on streets back

to   a    man.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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